Most individuals, communities and organizations have both the desire and the skills necessary to resolve complex problems and conflicts that they are faced with. So what keeps people from working together successfully?
The Resolution Collaborative (TRC) specializes in helping to bring people together in a safe and neutral environment to assist them in building consensus on important and complex issues that affect their organization or their community. Our highly trained and experienced facilitators have worked with organizations and government agencies of all types and sizes to design, launch and implement successful consensus building processes.
Consensus building is sometimes also referred to as “collaborative problem solving” or “facilitated negotiation”. It is a process which is facilitated by an trained, outside third-party “neutral” that brings various stakeholders together (people with an interest in the problem or issue) to work together on complex problems or conflicts to achieve a mutually acceptable solution. For the past few decades, consensus building has been used primarily in the environment and public policy realms, but it has become increasingly popular in other sectors, including the business sector and state and municipal government.
Consensus building is based on the principles of broad, local participation, collaboration and ownership of decisions. Ideally, the consensus reached will meet all of the relevant interests of stakeholders, who thereby come to a unanimous agreement. While everyone may not get everything they initially wanted, consensus has been reached when everyone agrees they can live with and support whatever is proposed after every effort has been made to meet the interests of all stake holding parties.
In the public sphere, consensus-building also allows average citizens to have input into decision-making processes about policy matters that affect them, rather than leaving controversial decisions up to government representatives or experts. When government officials or experts make decisions without public input, it typically results in some stakeholder groups being unhappy. Too often, this unhappiness results in costly and time-consuming lawsuits, which can hinder progress and stall implementation.
Problems that may be effectively addressed with a consensus-building approach tend to share some general characteristics. Some of these characteristics are:
If you are interested in convening a consensus building process, or would like more information call or e-mail us today for a free consultation.
The Resolution Collaborative, LLC
154 Waterman Street, Suite 8
Providence, RI 02906